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Pinochet-Era General in Chile Receives Life Sentence


Chile's Supreme Court has sentenced a former general to life in prison for human rights abuses during the Pinochet era.

The court issued the life sentence Tuesday for retired General Hugo Salas Wenzel for his role in the murder of 12 youths in mid-June of 1987. The case was known as "Operation Albania."

The court also handed down several other prison sentences in human rights cases from the Pinochet era.

Wenzel was the former head of Chile's National Intelligence Center, CNI. The CNI is suspected of backing the killings of the youths, who were members of the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front.

The Chilean government initially said the youths were killed in clashes with security agents, but a later investigation revealed they were murdered after being arrested.

General Pinochet's government ruled from 1973 until 1990. Thousands of suspected leftist sympathizers disappeared or were killed during that period. Pinochet died last December leaving many incomplete court cases that had sought to bring him to justice.

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